damar hamlin

Damar Hamlin Meets With President Biden, Says He Plans to Return to Football

The Buffalo Bills safety spent the week in Washington D.C. advocating for legistlation that would promote education and equipment access to respond to sudden cardiac arrest

USA Today

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is kicking off spring with a busy week in Washington D.C., headlined by a visit with President Joe Biden on Thursday.

"Damar Hamlin's courage, resilience, and spirit inspired the American people," Biden captioned the photo posted on Thursday. "And what's more: he turned recovery into action -- and our country is better for it. It was my honor to have him and his family here today."

The two met at the White House where Biden reportedly thanked Hamlin for his "courage, resilience, and can-do spirit which has inspired the American people."

Biden asked Hamlin if he expected to play in the future, to which the 25-year-old responded "Yeah, I think so."

Hamlin has reportedly been meeting with specialists since recovering from a cardiac arrest on Jan. 2 while playing against the Cincinnati Bengals. Earlier in March, Bills general manager Brandon Beane said Hamlin "definitely has every intention to play" and that his recovery was "trending in the right direction."

Just this past week head coach Sean McDermott weighed in on Hamlin's future while speaking at the NFL's annual meetings in Phoenix.

"We're hopeful that he plays, but at the end of the day that's a decision that he's going to make, but we support him whether he decides to play or not," McDermott said.

The White House statement also said the Biden took a moment to recognize the Hamlin's efforts "to bring people together and make life-saving technologies more widely available."

These efforts included meeting with law makers to advocate for the Access to AEDs Act, a bipartisan bill introduced to the U.S. House last week. It would establish a grant program to fund the purchase of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), strengthen CPR training and develop cardiac emergency response plans in schools.

AEDs are not required in every school, but can be the difference-maker in emergency events. Hamlin cited a 2018 study from the American Heart Association that reported roughly 7,000 children suffer a sudden cardiac arrest.

“...The majority of the kids impacted are student-athletes, and research shows that 1 in every 300 youth has an undetected heart condition that puts them at risk. For schools that have AEDs, the survival rate for the children from sudden cardiac arrest is seven times higher,” Hamlin said.

"The Access to AEDs Act will help ensure that schools are just as prepared and trained to respond in the time of crisis as those on the sidelines of an NFL game,” he said.

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